Many people are made very uneasy just at the site of insects. Stick insects – like jungle nymphs and leaf insects, for example – can be especially troublesome due to their appearance. But keeping stick insects at home, as pets, is an exercise in learning more about the natural world and the insects’ place in it.
My website is devoted to all things stick insects. I love these crazy little insects and everything about them. Perhaps you do to. Take a look around my site to learn some amazing things about the wonderful world of stick insects.
What’s in a Name?
You might be wondering how stick insects got their name. First of all, the scientific name is phasmatodea. This order is part of the insecta class of the anamalia kingdom. The ‘stick insect’ designation comes from the fact that the appearance of the insects in this order closely resembles tree branches, sticks, and twigs.
Their appearance is natural camouflage to protect them from predators. They blend in very well by staying close to foliage at all times. When predators do come along, they have a hard time distinguishing between the insects and real sticks.
Most stick insects are wingless. However, there are exceptions to the rule. A small number of them do develop wings in adulthood. Also note that the size and shape of these insects can vary. Some stick insects remain rather small and present long, narrow bodies that are not much thicker than a couple of blades of grass. Others can have much bulkier bodies with growths that mimic things like leaves or thorns.
Keeping Stick Insects at Home
Should you ever decide to keep a stick insect or two as a pet, you need to know there are a few to follow. First and foremost, you will need either a terrarium or cage to keep the insect properly housed and simultaneously provide enough room for it to move. The general rule is to determine length and width by finding something that is two times the length of the insect’s body at a bare minimum. Similarly, height should be three times the insect’s body length at minimum.
The reason for the extra height is to account for moulting. Stick insects shed their skins multiple times per year, and they hang from those skins to do so. They need plenty of vertical space to safely moult without harming themselves.
Feeding Your Pet
Stick insects are herbivores, which is to say they eat plants. Note that not all species of stick insects eat the same plants. Therefore, you have to know what species you are getting and the food that species normally eats. Putting the wrong kind of plant in the enclosure could lead to starvation. But we have you covered with advice and information on feeding habits and food types.
Everything You Need to Know about Stick Insects
The little bit you’ve read thus far only scratches the surface of keeping stick insects at home as pets. There is a lot more information for you to discover. I have a library of articles discussing everything from how to build an enclosure to proper diet and breeding stick insects.
If you find stick insects as fascinating as I do, you are sure to find the information here on my site both entertaining and helpful. I wish you well in your stick insect adventures!
For more stick insect general care advice, click on the link to visit the category page.